readed up within the limits of the States by some able and ambitious Executive of the Confederate Government as to enable him to override the constituted authority of the States and destroy the last vestige of human liberty. Is this an unreasonable conclusion? Is it half so unreasonable as the facts which now exist in the United States? "When we see a President making was without the assent of congress; when we behold judges threatened because they maintain the write of habeas corpus, so sacred to freemen; when we see justice and law trampled under the armed heel of military authority, and upright men and innocent women dragged to distant dungeons upon the mere edict of a despot; when we find all this tolerated and applauded by a people who had been in the full enjoyment of freedom but a few months ago," we may be admonished that there may, in time, be danger to us, unless we meet with our opposition at the very threshold every invasion of the rights of the States, whether that invasion be intentional or not. I have no thought that a man could be found who would say that the course pursued by the War Department is intended as a usurpation or in derogation of the rights of the States. But we must forget the teachings of history to suppose that men will not be what men have been. Look again at the people of the United States. Once, who more firm in the maintenance of chartered guarantees than they? Who more watchful of their rights or more quick to resist aggression than they? So devoted were they to the sacred cause of freedom, that a temple in one of their chief cities has been denominated the "Cradle of Liberty." And yet where are they now? They Constitution openly violated; their laws trampled under foot; their press muzzled; the freedom of speech a thing of the past and they applauding. Would they have believed this if they had been told it fifty years ago? Had they been as watchful in this as in former ages, and had checked aggression at its incipiency, they would not now have been as they are; and unless we shall be watchful of our rights, we may in an age to come be as they are. What has been many again be, if we neglect that maxim of patriotism, "Enteral vigilance is the price of liberty."
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully,
Coosawhatchie, December 9, 1861.
Colonel R. G. M. DUNOVANT,
COLONEL: The Thirteenth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, Colonel O. E. Edwards, has been ordered to take the road towards Graden's Corner and to halt at the first convenient spot beyond Pocotaligo. This is intended as a precautionary movement, and should you need support, you will call upon Colonel Edwards to join you. In the event of not being required, Colonel Edwards is ordered to return to his camp this evening. You are desired to use all the force under your command in driving the enemy from the main whenever the may land within your reach.
I have the honor to be,
R. E. LEE,